If you’re a heating or plumbing professional, you can’t afford to ignore sustainability.
With government schemes and targets providing incentives for both domestic and business premises, you need to be able to demonstrate your green credentials if you want to keep your customers happy, and win new ones.
Read on for an overview of some of the main green innovation schemes and ensure you have the answers at your fingertips the next time you’re quizzed by existing and potential customers.
Q. What’s a Green Deal installer, and how can I become one?
A. The Green Deal Home Improvement Fund provides homeowners, wanting to make more than one energy-saving improvement, with grants of £1,250.
While the fund has recently closed to new applicants, there’s still installation work to be carried out. And to do this, you need to be a ‘Green Deal’ installer.
To qualify, you need to:
If you’re Gas Safe Registered then the good news is that you’re part way there. However, this isn’t enough for you to carry out Green Deal installations. Certification to PAS 2030 is also required.
If you’re an MSC-approved installer, you’re deemed to have the necessary qualifications already. However, you will need to put the necessary systems in place to meet PAS 2030 requirements.
Want more information? You can find out just about everything you need to know here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/becoming-an-authorised-green-deal-organisation
Q. What’s the Energy-related Products Directive and how does it affect me?
A. The ErP Directive came into force in September 2015. It’s an EU measure aimed at helping countries reduce energy consumption by 20% by 2020, as well as increasing their use of renewable energy.
As a result of the directive, you’re now responsible for rating the efficiency of the heating systems you install, giving them a classification ranging from A+++ to G.
What’s more, the directive prevents the installation of some water heating products, with the ultimate aim of phasing out products that don’t perform well when it comes to noise level, energy consumption and overall efficiency.
For further information, this link has a lot of helpful detail: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/placing-energy-related-products-on-the-uk-market
Q. What obligations do I have under the Energy Company Obligation?
The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) is a government scheme designed to ensure larger suppliers deliver energy efficiency measures to domestic premises.
If, as an installer, you’re interested in delivering these measures, you need to contact a supplier or a Green Deal provider.
For additional information, the FAQs on this page are particularly useful: https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/frequently-asked-questions-installers-and-other-third-parties
Q. What’s the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive?
A. If your domestic customers are looking to improve the energy efficiency of their homes, chances are they’ll ask you about the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).
To help customers who want to take advantage of incentives (provided by a tariff payment per kilowatt of heat produced), you’ll need to be able to install renewable heating systems. Popular systems include ground source heat pumps, air source heat pumps, biomass boilers and solar water heating.
The Domestic RHI has been available since June 2014. However, due to fairly slow uptake amongst homeowners, changes are likely to be made to the scheme next year.
Keep up to date with all the latest developments here: https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/environmental-programmes/domestic-renewable-heat-incentive-domestic-rhi/about-domestic-rhi
Q. How about the Non-Domestic Renewable Heat incentive?
A. If your customers are predominantly businesses, it’s worth reading up on the Non-Domestic RHI.
It’s available to the non-domestic sector, including industrial, commercial and public sector organisations with compliant installations.
Check out Ofgem’s easy guide: https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/sites/default/files/docs/2015/10/easyguide_to_rhi_publish_v3_0.pdf
The criteria for eligibility is fairly complex, so you might want to direct interested customers to the site before installing any new systems for them.
Sustainability is a crucial component in the future of heating and plumbing. Ultimately, if you want to boost your credibility and attract new customers, you need to become a green innovation expert.
Are you looking for other ways to build trust with your customers? Check out our report of a recent survey for new ideas.